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Choosing the Best Resume Format For You

Writing a resume is an important step for every job seeker. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the start of your career or if you have been working for years and are just changing fields. Your resume is your marketing document, it’s what gets you that phone interview. It provides recruiters and hiring managers the information they need to make the decision that you are the right person for the job.

Getting that information to the hiring manager or recruiter efficiently is more important than ever. While it seems like a great idea to use a resume template, I urge you not to. Not all resumes are the same and not all resumes effectively convey the important information about your experience, skillset and job history. There are four different resume formats that are commonly used when writing a resume, each one advertises your information differently. Choosing the right format for you and the job you are applying for is important. Let’s go over the four formats:

1. Chronological: This is the most used resume format. As the name suggest, this format lists your job history in chronological order, starting with your most recent job experience and moving backwards. This gives the hiring team a quick look at your experience and allows them to easily identify what your most recent positions are. This is a great format for individuals with a solid work history, no long pauses in their work history or if your work history lines up with the job you are currently applying for.

2. Functional: This is the format I would recommend if you have long gaps in your employment history or are transitioning to a new career path. This format focuses on your skills and experience. Dates and employment history are generally listed under the details of your skills

3. Combination: As the name would suggest this format is a mix a of the two previous formats. This format is flexible and allows you to detail your skills and experience while providing chronological listing of your work history.

4. Targeted: Targeted resumes are customized in detail to the job you are seeking. This the most time consuming to write but are also very effective. Your qualifications, objectives and educational experience are all presented to mirror the job qualifications.

Choose the best resume format for you and the position you are applying for and good luck in your job search.

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